Inside: Social media is a tool with both perks and potential risks – but it is what we make of it. We can learn to leverage its strengths and let go of the rest. Inside, I share 5 benefits of social media to my life and the 5 primary ways I simplify its use to keep it in it’s place. This post contains some referral links.
I’m grateful for social media.
As a strong introvert who loves solitude and working from home, chewing on and discussing ideas, and walking out my mission in meaningful ways, social media has felt like a gift.
I get to use it in ways that feel good to me – for building my business, contributing hope and encouragement to this messy world, connecting with growth-minded people, and sending sarcastic memes to my sister or daughter for a good belly laugh;)
Social media is a tool with both perks and potential risks – but it is what we make of it. We can learn to leverage its strengths and let go of the rest.
We Can Leverage the Strengths of Social Media
I’ve wanted to write this post for a long time because while we’ve all likely heard plenty about potential dangers or downfalls of social media use, I’ve truly benefited from it. I am intentional and mindful about how I walk through my days and social media has a purpose and place in my life.
Following are some of the primary benefits of social media to my life.
1. It helps me live on purpose
I get to teach and offer the light of hope and encouragement to women around the globe. I get to leverage my personal strengths as I show up online and do the work that lights me up and in a way that affords me ample flexibility to be available to my family. Social media helps us see that we are not alone and that across oceans and cultural differences, we are more the same than different.
2. It helps me live mind-body healthy
I’ve needed to work hard to live mind-body healthy and social media – in particular using it to offer hope and encouragement – helps me manage my mental health. Showing up online anchors me and keeps me from spiraling down in hard seasons. It gives me a space to use my voice and process my journey through writing, and to offer the education and support that I myself have needed. Walking in integrity matters to me and serving others reminds me to forge ahead, to walk my talk, and not to quit.
3. It connects me with beautiful, growth-minded humans
I’ve built relationships with people around the globe and made some of my inner circle friends online. I get to have interesting conversations and learn from people I’d never have met otherwise. I’ve experienced the joy of people lifting each other up. In-person connection matters but we don’t always have access to like-minded people or the support we need. And just because in-person connection matters, this does not discount the joyful connections we can build online.
4. It supports my love of a good learning curve
Social media offers access to low-cost, easy ways to learn and glean from the wisdom or skill of others via video, webinars, articles. A happy thing. There was a time when I could only fill my thirst for education by gathering books from the local library and was woefully limited in what I could get my hands on.
5. It puts encouragement and inspiration at my fingertips
I intentionally cultivate a positive feed. A post about the healing qualities of nature reminds me to go for a walk through the woods, a post on walking through grief reminds me I am not alone, someone’s post about healthy boundaries helps me consider how to tweak my own, an article on neuroscience and the power of gratitude keeps me practicing when life feels hard.
Primary Ways I Simplify Social Media
The strengths of social media to my life are clear – yet I also work to ensure that it is kept in its place. I want to leverage the strengths and let go of the rest.
1. Quiet the Noise
I’m careful about whose voice I listen to and unsubscribe/unfollow if it leaves me feeling pressured or anxious, less than, or if I tip into comparison.
2. Set Healthy Boundaries
I set healthy boundaries and expectations for how I show up: I expect kindness in my group or on my pages, I take much-needed breaks completely offline, create more than I consume (this may not apply to everyone but this works for many of us doing work online), pause before responding to comments that trigger me, and remind my ego that my worth is not dependent on likes or follows.
3. Take Responsibility for my Voice
I filter what I share through a personal lens of “is this true?” and “will this help build up or tear down?” I’m a believer in promoting what we love more than bashing what we hate.
4. Aim for Good Enough
Nothing I do is perfect and to show up with purpose, health, and joy in life and work, I aim for “good enough.” I remind myself that aiming for the prettiest images or near-perfect posts keeps me hiding or stuck in fear. I don’t sacrifice my mission or health for growth or people-pleasing. I simply offer the messy truth of who I am and let that be enough.
5. Make Space for Distraction-Free Deep Work & Connection
Keeping my phone out of site for blocks of the day when I want to do my “deep work” is critical. I leave my phone at home when my husband and I go for walks together and (mostly – it’s a work in progress) shut it down when my kids are speaking with me. I love connecting online but remember it’s just a tool – and that I want to live fully in and present to my actual full, beautiful life.
I appreciate folks like Cal Newport or Amy Blankson who help us live awake to the pitfalls or healthy use of social media and respect those who opt out of it altogether. Yet social media has felt like a significant gift, even a lifeline to me, as long as I leverage its strengths and let go of the rest.
NOW WHAT? If you’re interested in purposeful living or simplifying life you might like Do Less or Essentialism – and of course, my Seasonal Mindfulness Journals offer encouragement and weekly invitations to “pause and consider.”